Lake Powell created a new realm for anglers. Before Glen Canyon Dam was built, the Colorado River was so full of silt that only suckers, bonytails, and chubs who had adapted to its conditions over eons of time could survive in its murky waters.
The need to protect these native endangered fish is the highest priority of the National Park Service. That does not change the fact that abundant game fish now thrive in the clear waters of Lake Powell. Introduced species such as bass and crappie as well as walleye, bluegill, and catfish challenge the avid fisherman.
Lake Powell straddles the border of Utah and Arizona, so make sure you have a valid Utah or Arizona fishing license. A license from one state is valid on all of Lake Powell. Licenses can be purchased online, by visiting the offices of Utah Department of Wildlife or Arizona Game and Fish Departments, or at many convenience and fishing gear stores.
AZ portion: All persons 10 years of age and older must have a valid fishing license.
Arizona fishing license required. Youth under the age of 10 may fish without a license. Visit Arizona Game & Fish for full regulations.
Fishing regulations help conserve fish for the enjoyment of future park visitors and help to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems. By following the fishing regulations in national parks, you can be an important steward of fish conservation.
Lake Powell is filled with enough fishing holes to keep any angler busy, but you should know where fishing is prohibited before dropping your line.
Check USGS Water Data for Lake Powell. Check the launch ramp webcams for real time conditions.
•You may legally use or possess corn while fishing anywhere in Utah where bait is permitted.
•Dead shad from Lake Powell may be used as bait in the form of fresh or frozen fish or fish parts, only in Lake Powell. It is illegal to remove dead shad from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
•Dead striped bass from Lake Powell may be used as bait or chum only in Lake Powell.
•Dead, fresh or frozen saltwater species, including sardines and anchovies, may be used as bait in any water where bait is permitted.
•Dead mountain sucker, white sucker, Utah sucker, redside shiner, speckled dace, mottled sculpin, fathead minnow (all color variants, including rosy red minnows), Utah chub and common carp may be used as bait in any water where bait is permitted.
•The eggs of any species of fish caught in Utah, except prohibited fish, may be used in any water where bait is permitted. You may not, however, take or use eggs from fish that are being released.
•You may only use live crayfish for bait if you are on the water where the crayfish were captured. It is unlawful to transport live crayfish away from the water where they were captured. You may use commercially prepared and chemically treated baitfish or their parts as bait in any water where bait is permitted.
While you are fishing, it is unlawful to:
•Use or possess live baitfish.
•Use or possess tiger salamanders (live or dead).
•Use or possess any bait—including PowerBait or scented jigs—if you are on waters designated artificial fly and lure only.
•Use or possess artificial baits that are commercially imbedded or covered with fish or fish parts.
•Transport any species of fish (live or dead), including baitfish, from that water to use in any other water.
•Limit 20 smallmouth bass.
•Limit 5 largemouth bass.
•Limit 10 crappie.
•Limit 25 channel catfish.
•No limit on striped bass.
•No limit on walleye.
Possession of the following nongame fish is prohibited. If you catch any of these fish, you must release them immediately:
•Fish may be filleted at any time.
•Anglers may possess filleted fish.
•Anglers may use dead striped bass as bait.
•Chumming is allowed, but you may chum only with legal baits or dead striped bass, as specified in Utah Admin. Rule R657-13-12.
•Gaffs may be used to land striped bass only.
•Closed to the use of underwater spearfishing to take largemouth and smallmouth bass from April 1 through the fourth Saturday of June. •Archery and underwater spearfishing are prohibited within all of the following areas: •One-quarter mile of all existing developed areas, including shoreline campgrounds, docks, launch ramps, breakwaters and trailheads •One-quarter mile of any structure, including any building, shed, pump-out, boat dock, breakwater, permanent harbor fixture, camper, motor home, trailer, tent or vehicle • Rainbow Bridge National Monument •One-quarter mile of Dangling Rope Marina, including any land- or harbor-based structures •One hundred yards (300 feet) of any boats (unless the person owns, rents, leases or lawfully occupies the boat), or another boat moves into the 100-yard perimeter after the bow or spearfishing activity has commenced
There is no limit on sport fish species which includes all species of bass (including sunfish and stripers), all species of catfish, all species of trout, and walleye.
The Environmental Protection Agency, states, territories, and tribes provide advice on fish and shellfish caught in the waters in their jurisdiction to help people make informed decisions about eating fish. Advisories are recommendations to limit your consumption of, or avoid eating entirely, certain species of fish or shellfish from specific bodies of water due to chemical or biological contamination.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Fish Consumption Advisory
Public Health, Environmental and Wildlife agencies from Utah and Arizona jointly issued a mercury fish advisory for striped bass in the southern portion of Lake Powell from Dangling Rope Marina to the dam. Read more from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
No other fish found in Lake Powell or the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam have a consumption advisory at this time.
Aquatic Invasive Species
How You Can Help – Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
Clean. Drain. Dry.
Because quagga mussels have been confirmed both above and below the dam, and New Zealand mudsnails are in the river below the dam, all boaters and fishermen must clean, drain, and dry their boats and all equipment after contact with these waters.
Educate yourself on the threats of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and state regulations in place to prevent their spread. In addition to ecological impacts, quagga mussels have devastating financial impacts on marina infrastructure and boats.
We invite you to visit the Fish and Fishing website for more information about fish and fishing in the National Park Service. You will learn about conservation, different fish species, and parks that offer fishing.
Last updated: October 30, 2020